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Four Life Lessons from Camp Tuckaho

Camp Tuckaho Nature Log–I think Darwin would approve.

Camping’s a box I checked off my to-try list about ten years ago. And it’s been purposely absent from all of my lists since then.

I don’t get the whole camping thing. A walk in the woods? Yes. Dining al fresco? Definitely. Getting away from it all? Absolutely. But a community bathroom (or worse) and no bed? You lost me.

I’d successfully avoided a second experience until my daughter came along and with her, Girl Scouts—famous for cookies . . . and camping.

So the Friday evening before Mother’s Day, I drove her and another mom/daughter duo toward our destiny—Camp Tuckaho.

And here’s what I learned in my 24-hour reunion with the one activity I’d hoped to never do again: Read more

Redirect Your Life with One-Letter Shifts

“One Little Letter”

Ever think about how the difference between one word and the next is often just a letter?

Me neither.

Except until the other day when I was searching online for St. Louis events and saw one appearing to be titled “Meditation Matters.”

“Awesome!” I thought, clicking on the link.

All that awesomeness ended when I realized the program targeted the senior population and was actually called “Medication Matters.”

Changing one little letter can catapult a word from your corner of the world to the opposite pole.

So why not apply this “one little letter” philosophy to propel ourselves in a direction we’d rather be heading? Read more

Reclaim & Release—Two Steps Towards Your Dreams

“Left Behind”

Last time it went missing, it left for a week. So when we realized yesterday at 8pm that my 6-year-old’s ninja turtle water bottle had begun another solo adventure—left behind after baseball practice—I headed to reclaim it.

The empty baseball diamond felt like the Field of Dreams set—my mind even started replaying the “If you build it . . .” line as I canvassed the outfield. The bottle lay, of course, in the last possible place I could look, but I eventually spotted its neon-green lid.

All alone on a cold metal bench.

Well, not completely alone. You see, on my search-and-rescue route I discovered a handful of baseballs, a tennis ball, a Gatorade bottle, and a purple jacket.

All left behind—the typical behavior of most kids that age.

But as I quietly walked back to my car, my shoes absorbing the evening dew, two thoughts began developing: Read more

How Lack Can Be Your Source of Abundance

Lack or abundance?

Abundance—it’s a word linked to positive thoughts.

Like an abundance of good restaurants, of vacation time, of lifelong friendships.

But what about modern conveniences? Abundance of these is a positive thing, right? I’d always thought so, but one little incident’s left me questioning this belief.

It happened the other day in my kitchen with an unlikely source of inspiration—the water pitcher. Mine has the built-in filter that I replace after so many fills. A good thing, except that my current filter’s abominably slow. Like one drop every two seconds.

So as I watched it drip that day, an idea arrived that maybe instead of being here to annoy me this sluggish filter has actually given me three special gifts:

Read more

Survival Code or Compassion Code—Which Do You Follow?

Choose your code!

Just for fun, let’s pretend we’re emperor penguins.

We’re hanging out on the Antarctic ice, looking cute, but freezing our feathers off. So what do we do? Well, humans would instinctively crowd together, so we decide to try that.

And pretty soon, we’re at the center of a massive penguin huddle, feeling much warmer.

But after a bit our neighbors wiggle away, with new penguins taking their places. This cycle repeats until our original buddies end up on the outer ring of the huddle and penguins from the perimeter get some time in the middle.1

We can’t believe it—they’re taking turns getting warm! Read more

Know Your Snowflake Type—A Personality Test

Yes, snowflake types do exist…

I hadn’t planned on writing about snowflakes, nor had I ever thought one’s personality might align with a snowflake type. But I couldn’t find the book passage I needed for my planned post, so I sat—blocked—at my laptop and looked outside.

Guess what I found?

A new blog post! A little rough around the edges and in the form of snowfall, but a beautiful idea just in need of a little polish.

So here it is…

When the temperature’s above freezing, a snowflake faces three short-term destinies: Read more

Stretching Christmas—Yea or Nay?

Stretching’s good for us, right? So, I’ve been thinking lately that maybe stretching Christmas might not be so bad either.

Can they coexist?

I used to have rules about this:

1.      NO Christmas music until after Thanksgiving.

2.      NO Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.

3.      NO Christmas movies until after Thanksgiving.

But then it happened. Read more

Job’s Already Yours, but Would You Pass the Test?

A wide-eyed me, always taking in the world…

I realized something this past week and not just in my head—I fully felt it in my soul.

There’s a little girl who is watching my actions, my attitude, my language, my self-respect, my mindfulness, my perseverance in living my purpose, my unwillingness to accept disrespect, my willingness to stand up for goodness, kindness, and love.

And guess what? She’s watching you too.

She’s your daughter, your niece, your neighbor, your son’s classmate, your babysitter, your patient, your client, the girl in the grocery store, at the mall, or walking the dog.

And though she may not be that little age wise, she’s still deep in forming her self.

Like many of you, I live with the expectations of being a woman—managing my life, my children’s lives, my home, my career, and my dreams. But as the school years march along, I’m becoming aware of the equally high and unattainable expectations our girls are facing. If we accept these insane standards for ourselves, what does that say to those looking to us for guidance?

As some very wise person said:

“There’s no such thing as someone else’s child.”

We can’t opt out of being a role model to the world’s children, so let’s be a force for good.  Let’s model not only kindness and compassion to others, but self-care, self-respect and self-love. And if you find every possible excuse not to do something your heart and soul are insisting upon, think about the girl who’s watching you. If you won’t do it for yourself, please do it for her.

I’ll leave you with this quote, one of my favorite reminders that our actions trump our words, so we best be mindful of the message they’re sending. Because our girls are getting the message, whether or not we consider ourselves mentors.

“Before you tell me how you teach and how you preach, show me how you live and how you give, because who you are is so loud I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” -Brett Hughes referencing Sen. Cory Booker, Power of Positive Summit

Thanks for indulging me in this sidestep from my usual guidance-based blog. Being a bold soul doesn’t mean you have to be a loud, extroverted activist, just that you follow where your soul leads. Mine’s pointed me here this week, and like I tell my kids, sometimes I have to be a little firm—it’s just part of the job! Let’s keep the conversation going below…what are your thoughts on this topic?

Is Home A Place, A Person, or A Feeling? Some Thoughts on Moving On

A modern home by a budding young architect–just give her a few years!

HOME. It’s been the topic of conversation in my thoughts as I’m set for a summer visit to a city I used to call home. I feel as if it’s held a spot for me, just in case I’d change my mind on the move. But moving has defined my life.

I always knew I wanted to set sail from my childhood nest in Missouri, in search of adventures and fresh perspectives. And I found just that in San Francisco. It was a time of extreme experiences and when I think of my home there I feel like I’m rediscovering a magical part of me that missed the flight to my next destination. A part of me that religiously set aside time to dream, to really connect with my hubby, to nourish my soul by indulging my interests—a lighter me. So this is my fairy tale castle (shrunk to 650 square feet). Read more

The Origin of Voice: Do We Catch or Create a Good Idea?

“Where does our voice come from?” asked my five-year-old. It was one of those questions he seemed to find floating in the air and capture for a closer look. I gave him what I knew of the physiological answer, but the question lingered in my thoughts.

“Where does our voice come from?” I wondered. Beyond the textbook, beyond the actual sound, straight to the source (or Source) of ideas.

Courtesy of Pixabay

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